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CLINKKY

A little bit of this and that

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Two Months Later

24 June 2017
Two months after I spilled a little bit of my heart out onto the page here, I figured I should make a reappearance.

Life is sweet and Norwich is sweeter. Having grabbed all my bags and packed my life into my little car, I drove a good 300 miles across the country, with little idea what the next few months would have in store. In short - I was freaking out.

Fast forward a couple of months and here I am, alive, well and happy. It turns out that Norwich was everything that the doctor ordered and more.






I mean come on, look at that little face. He's right on my doorstep - cute is good for the soul.







I have one month left here and by the end of it, I'll have produced my Master's thesis - one step closer to fully fledged adult status. NOPE, nope, nope. Here's to the last month of exploring my new backyard, sunshine and house sharing. Oh and writing that thesis (but we can forget about that for now).

Until next time,

xo

Progression

13 April 2017

Life doesn't stop for anybody. Stephen Chbosky wrote about it, Deaf Havana sung about it. And it really doesn't. In the past year, I've graduated from one course, started a Master's in a brand new one, travelled to the other side of the world and lived my everyday life. All along though, there was one thing that I failed to notice. I grew. And I'm damn proud of it. Don't fret, I'm not about to get all hot and heavy on you.



Within the past 8 months, I've done everything I've listed above. I've had highs and I've most definitely had lows. I had never taken the time to reflect until a couple of weeks ago, where an interviewer asked me: "what do you consider to be your greatest achievement?" and honestly, when you strip it down to the basics, it turned out it was my own personal growth.

Flash back to the tail end of last year: I was in a course that I loved, surrounded by people that I loved and who loved me, yet I felt so low. I was painfully self conscious of myself, my thoughts and everything that I did, to the point that one night at an event, I had to lock myself in a toilet to get away from everyone for a while. The saddest part is that I never truly realised it.

More recently, I've been forced to focus on myself and somewhere along the line, my confidence not only in myself but in everything that I do has grown massively. It's the little things. I've made numerous phone calls, had multiple interviews and stood up for myself without fearing the consequences. I've stood up in a court of law to present evidence without my heart skipping a beat and talked my way into a dream placement. I no longer feel overwhelmed at work on a regular basis, I laugh stupidly loud without being embarrassed (because I can) and in no way have I tried to reign in my facial expressions. Basic, I know but for people who know me well, it's definitely progression and I'd be a fool not to take it. In a few weeks time, I'll be packing up and moving to a new city; a few months after that and I'll be flying solo to Cambodia - and I'm really proud. Granted, it's absolutely terrifying but hey, I'll fumble on through.

The point is, sometimes the greatest achievements come from the simplest things. We're constantly growing and evolving, so sit back and reflect every once in a while - you might be surprised at what you've accomplished.

Until next time,

xo

A Letter from a Cheerleader

5 May 2016


For the past couple of years I have been heavily involved in the sport of cheerleading, as a member of the university competitive team for both seasons 2014-15 and 2015-16. It is a sport that I have fallen head over heels for and as I competed for the last time a couple of months ago, I was genuinely upset to be leaving it behind, as my time at university comes to an end.  However, throughout my time, I have been exposed to the negative connotations and associations of the sport; most recently I was involved in a dispute with a woman via Facebook (I know, really?) who had decided to voice her opinions and disgust over our university team. After much deliberation, I have decided to write this, for anybody to read: cheerleader or not, to give a real insight into our sport and to explain just why exactly it's time that the stereotypical "cheerleader" image needs to be put to bed.

Over my 2 years in the sport, I have learned the true definition of a "team". I've learned to apply patience, strength and focus in ways that other sports have never asked me to. I've learned to be brave, have faith in my team, all whilst having the greatest of times with some of the best people that I've ever met. We are cheerleaders. We are not girls standing on the sidelines waving pom poms at boys, aiming to please - we're anything but. We stunt. we jump, we tumble. We train harder and then even harder again. We take the fall, we take the hits. Broken bones? Concussions? We've been there and we've seen it all before. Not what you thought? That's the thing; the hyper-sexualised portrayal of cheerleading couldn't be further from the truth.

A couple of weeks ago, the World Cheerleading Championships took place, showcasing the best of the best from countries across the world. However, unless you're directly involved in the sport, it's very unlikely that you'd even heard of it before. It might seem like I'm preaching to a deaf crowd but hear me out - cheerleading deserves recognition. It's a sport that involves a serious amount of dedication and hard work, there's no ifs or buts about it; throwing multiple stunts several feet it the air   followed by a few tumble passes doesn't come easy. Throw a couple of jump sequences into the mix and a couple more stunts? Well you get the idea.

Cheerleaders are the underdogs of the athletic world - we aren't taken seriously but we've still got some of the strongest, most flexible and fittest players in the game. With cheerleading currently under consideration for status as an olympic sport, it's time that it is truly recognised for what it is. If you're still unsure or unconvinced altogether, please watch this video of just one of this year's winning teams and believe me when I say that while they make everything look easy, it most certainly isn't.

Cheerleading has become one of my all time favourite sports. It's a sport that has taught me a lot and has allowed me to meet some incredible people. Whilst I could probably write another thousand words to try and show you everything that the sport means to me, I hope that this post has given you a small insight into just what it is that we do and the reasons why cheerleading is a sport that needs to be recognised. I know I can never address everything and that trying to shift the negative connotations and hyper-sexualised image of cheerleaders and cheerleading itself isn't a one man job,
but with every bit of recognition, it gets that little bit easier.

Until next time,

xo



A Month of Finals

1 April 2016


Another month has come and gone and whilst March has never been known to be of much significance, oh boy, did things get significant this time around. I entered the month of March in a state of calm, with few expectations and very little knowledge that March was about to become "the month of finals".

Dubbed as "the month of finals", March saw me hand in my last ever piece of university coursework (if you ever want to know how humans would evolve to live on Mars, hit me up - I'm an expert now), my last ever lecture at university, my last ever class meeting and of course, my last ever cheer training and performance with the university team. You can take it as a given that I wasn't exactly devastated about the first half of 'final ever's' in that list - I mean, there were only so many more 3 hour lectures that I could take. Don't even get me started on the coursework. The second half of that list though? Not so much.

When I first started university 4 years ago, the prospect of my last ever lecture or my last ever piece of coursework seemed a lifetime away - a lifetime in which I would have my life together and would know exactly which direction I wanted to head in; whoops, my bad. I guess you could say I have mixed emotions about the whole thing but hey, I won't bore you to tears - that's what lectures/work/coursework is for! All in all March, you've been an interesting one, here's to April!

Until next time,

xo